The Wesleyan Methodist Chapel, on Carver Street, was built at Cadman’s Fields in 1804, then green fields and trees, and a meeting place of political demonstrations.
The development of Sheffield westwards proceeded slowly until the end of the century, by which time the Carver Street Chapel was surrounded by housing, factories and shops.
These days we recognise the chapel as Walkabout, a vibrant city centre bar.
This was the biggest chapel in the town, and it expanded to meet the increasing popularity of Methodism.
The Carver Street Chapel built the Red Hill Sunday School on nearby Rockingham Lane in 1812, also adding an extension to the original building in 1885.
The Sunday School was one of 34 Wesleyan schools operating in Sheffield, with 1,096 teachers and 5,694 children across the city.
By the end of the century, the Red Hill Sunday School was considered too small, and in 1896 plans were made to build new facilities adjacent to it, fronting onto Rockingham Street.
Although the chapel had been in debt for most of its existence, it had consolidated its finances through generous donations and fundraising.
In 1898, the Carver Street Chapel was temporarily closed and the outside thoroughly cleaned of industrial grime. It was also the same year that the Methodist Sunday School was opened on Rockingham Street at a cost of £4,000.
Designed by Herbert W. Lockwood, this was a massive end of three-storeys with a tall gable, containing a lecture hall and 24 classrooms.
It proved to be a valuable addition in consolidating and expanding the work of the church.
“The area was indebted in no small measure for its record of successful spiritual work in a crowded district to the ability and zeal of its distinguished ministers and laymen.”
We’ve already seen that the Carver Street Chapel is now a bar, and these old schoolrooms also survive in a similar capacity.
These days the old building is home to Soyo, another trendy bar, making use of the exposed brick, and seemingly a million miles away from its Methodist roots.